TB: “So far as I can tell, the early reviews for THE BIG O in the States have been very kind. Did you always expect the Americans to get you?”For the rest, clickety-click here …
DB: “The reviews have been terrific. I’m stunned, to be honest with you. Kirkus even gave me a star, and I haven’t had one of those since primary school … No, it’s great. And I didn’t ‘expect’ anything, that’s being straight. The way THE BIG O came about, being co-published and all, everything since has been a bonus, just enjoying the ride. So to get good reviews Stateside … I guess it does make sense in one way, because the influences on THE BIG O are all American. The models for the kind of story it is were Elmore Leonard and the movies of the Coen Brothers … that kind of off-beat comedy crime caper they do so brilliantly. So I suppose it’s hardly surprising that American readers might ‘get’ the story, or the way it’s presented. Mind you, I should probably say that the reviews, they’ve been very kind in that some of them have mentioned Elmore Leonard and Donald Westlake and Carl Hiassen … but I think that that has more to do with how few reference points reviewers have in the context of comedy crime capers than the quality of the book.”
“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
The Embiggened O # 3,208: In Which Shots Rang Out
It’s Saturday, so it must be the self-aggrandizing plug for yours truly. Tony Black is one of the busiest men in crime fiction, even when he’s not penning his own novels, so it was nice of him to take time out and Q&A your humble host for Shots magazine, an excerpt from which runneth thusly: